Saturday, March 28

Amphibious Sanctuary

This post is in part dedicated to my friend Stephanie Jewett. Stephanie is the original search engine. A while back we were talking about the old skool rules of being quiet in a library. Stephanie...who really does have a degree in library science and is indeed a librarian...feels that the "rule" of being quiet in a library is inane and should be done away with. And I have to agree...there are places in most libraries set aside for silent really, what is the point of "shhhusing" people? least in the library....
I have been swimming since I can remember. Swimming lessons were a constant in my childhood. I even swam on the city swim team in junior high. I was never going to be Janet Evans, but I loved to swim. It came fact it came so easy (well except the butterfly stroke...I just cannot coordinate the dolphin kick with the butterfly arms) that I assumed swimming was just something that everyone knew how to do...I have since found that many, many people do not really know how to swim. However, I digress. What I have always loved...even as a child going to swim lessons at the YMCA, was the feel of the indoor pool. I love the smell of the chlorine, the moisture in the air, the feel of the cement on my bare feet. There is nothing like that initial contact of water on skin as you enter the pool...whether a dive, or a splash...I love it. Indoor or outdoor...but there is something I find so calming about an indoor pool. If I am just swimming for fun with friends, hanging out at the pool...then outdoor is the place to be, but for my laps...I prefer the indoors...the tabernacle of H2O.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way, and the other night my watery solace was irreverently interrupted. I was at a rec center doing laps. It was about 9:00pm when I began. I love doing laps in the evening. There is not the distraction of "open swim" and I can focus simply on my workout. However, there are the occasional pool patrons who decide that they are going to pretend to swim laps, so they can stay at the pool past "open plunge". It drives me bonkers. They are loud and obnoxious and distracting. They are not really doing laps, they are taking up precious lane space and even getting in my way at times.

One of the reasons I like to swim in the evenings rather than the mornings (besides the obvious LOATHING to get out of bed) is that in the evenings it is calming and quiet. I like to hear the soft echos of the water, the tempered splashing of a swimmers freestyle or back stroke across the pool. As I glide back and forth across my lane (ok so it probably is not that graceful) I can think about things, work out issues in my head, plan my week, etc. (this is what I like about walking and running alone). For me, an indoor pool is really a sacred place. I am not trying to be just is what it is.

The other night, however, that was not the case. As I was doing my laps I was getting so perturb about the noise these kids were making (not to mention they really were getting in the way). The water is a calming place for me, so I was able to continue my workout, but not without irritation. As I swam back and forth I found myself wishing there were pool rules about being quiet after a certain time. My thoughts turned to the conversation I had with Stephanie. The "shush" does not need to be a rule in the library anymore...we are beyond that...I do think, however, that it is time to take the "shush!" rule out of the library and into the pool. Voices echo in the indoor pool, and are amplified (which is not at all the case in a library). This is not to say I am against having a good time while swimming...during open swim yell and shout all splash, etc...all you want. But during my lap swim..please...SHUSH! Let me swim my laps in the sanctity and peace of that aquatic cathedral.

Wednesday, March 18


so the last five or six days have been just amazing, in terms of weather...and not too shabby in terms of everything else either...but because of this amazing weather I have been hard pressed to remain inside. Of course at work I am limited to the amount of time I spend outside, but after work and on Saturday I have spent most of my time outside walking, running and hiking through my neighborhood and the Capitol area of Salt Lake. As I am have been on these treks I have noticed things that just made me happy...well...actually filled me with such joy that I had great difficulty suppressing the grin and even laughter that seemed to be bursting at the seams. And it isn't just outside things that I have found greater enjoyment is I have decided to list just a few of these...

1-the girl at the iPod store. I was looking for an attachment so I could listen to my iPod in my car. She showed me where they were and then told me that I could find one for about five bucks at Wal-Mart. I will ALWAYS go back to the iPod was like Miracle on 34th Street all over again!

2-the new Old Navy Commercials...especially the most recent one containing some indecent mannequin exposure. I was laughing so hard that I could not breathe when I saw it yesterday. If I had needed to pee at that moment, I would have peed my pants. It is that funny. Just thinking about it right now, I am laughing out an empty house where everything echos!

3-yesterday as I was traipsing through my neighborhood I saw two kids on a swing...two junior high age kids...laughing like little children on a swing...who probably would never admit to doing that to any of their friends...but it was pure enjoyment watching them. The were so happy...not a care in the world...not worried about all the insanely ridiculous and painful aspects of teenage life...just happy that a childhood swing, hung from a tree, was still there.

4-S----T----R----E-----T----C-----H-----I-----N-----G! I love it. In college when I took a modern dance class we would have stretching days...they were so great...I was so flexible...and now I make a point to do it everyday...usually because I have been running or hiking or walking...but it is just great...I don't know what else to say...I love it. I do.

5-Asparagus...grilled on my may be the greatest green veggie ever! a tiny bit of butter to keep them from sticking...a little salt a little pepper...perfection! Spring weather heaven!

6-the view of the Salt Lake Valley from the top of 11th Avenue. Those mountains are gorgeous...all snow covered and jagged...b.e.-U-T-FUL! (Yes, I know I forgot the "a")

7-listening to my blaring music in my headphones and singing along as I jog through my neighborhood...without any thought of anyone that I pass along the way...well other than throwing them a smile. People are very friendly in my neck of the woods.

So there you have it things that even now as I write about them...fill me with true joy.

Tuesday, March 3

Today is the day...I think

So today...about fourteen years ago (I think...or was it the 5th), my matriarchal grandmother died (my mom's mom). I has just turned 16, and the two weeks leading up to her death will forever be imprinted in my memory. But I don't really feel like reliving those last few weeks, they were rough (...granted my best birthday ever took place at the start of those two weeks...anyway...) I just wanted to write a few things about her. I am the oldest grandchild on that side of the family...just turned 30...a milestone for sure...and on my birthday there was a moment when I really missed my grandma Wall. I never knew my dad's mom. She died when I was two or something like that. But I knew my grandma Wall very well. As a kid growing up in Palatine, IL I use to spend the bulk of my summers in Utah with my grandparents. I have some of the best memories because of it, and have a great relationship with my extended family (especially my mom's two sisters...who are numbers 2 &3 on my list of 100 most influential people). Here are a few of my favorite memories, etc...I have because of her:

I love school...that comes from my parents as well, but my grandma was a teacher and in the summers my grandma taught school (year round I believe) and since I was out here in Utah without my parents I would go to school with her sometimes. It was there in my grandma's resource class that I learned the "dot system" for doing addition...and you better believe I still use it today!

I also have a deep love for reading, and that to is in large part due to my grandma. When I was little, since I was the only grandchild for a while, I was SOOOOOO spoiled, and one summer, or Christmas, or birthday...I can't remember exactly, my grandma sent me a tape on which she and my aunts and uncles had recorded some books for me. It is actually a true treasure. It has my grandma's voice on it, as well as my Aunt Becky's (who died of Leukemia when I was about four).
I try to be a nice person...nice to everyone (it doesn't always work out that way...but I'm trying)...and I learned a lot of that from my grandma Wall. She was the kindest person that I have ever known.

I KNOW my extended family and I love them...and that has SO much to do with my grandma and her sisters and the efforts that they put, and continue to do so, into regular family gatherings. About a year ago, my Aunt LaRae died. She is one of my grandma's sisters, my great aunt. But in many ways it was really like losing a grandma again. Since my grandma's death her sisters have always been so loving and wonderful...almost like surrogate grandma's. I am so grateful to my grandma for keeping them close so that I was able to have to opportunity to know each of them.

During the summers I spent in Utah each night when I went to bed my grandma would come into my room and tell me stories about her childhood and growing up on a dairy farm, and living with her dad...who was quite a character...I imagine he and I will get along very well. I am so grateful for those moments.

She and my grandpa use to come and visit us when we lived in IL. I remember nights falling asleep with my head on her lap while she and my mom would talk. I don't remember the conversations...but I remember the calm that I felt, and the love that I felt.

I remember one night, we were visiting from Las Vegas. We had recently moved from Palatine. My grandma and I were talking one night in the kitchen and I was telling her about my friends back in Palatine. I was worried about some of them, and wished I was there to help them. I remember she sat there listening, and then gently explained that people are going to make mistakes and so often there is nothing we can do about them. We just have to let them, and love them always.

I also remember sitting in that same kitchen in the summers. I would lay across a counter (that is no longer there) while she would clean the kitchen. We would watch the Price is Right, and which ever soap opera she liked (I can't remember which). I don't know why I loved that so much...but I did. I loved when she would let us use the hose on the trampoline, when she would just sit outside in the evenings after dinner and talk to me. I especially loved watching her get ready at night...sitting in her chair with all her lotions and creams...I remember the smells and the way she would put lotion on my hands while I sat and watched. I remember how she and my grandpa would let me watch a movie with them in their bed. I remember her voice...I love that voice. I miss that voice...and I miss her. I know how lucky I am to have known her as well, and for as long as I did. I am grateful to her because of how she raised her children...I have the best mom in the world, and great aunts and uncles because of her.

She was an exceptional woman, and truly the best grandma a kid could have. Since I really only got one...I think that is why I got the best!

Monday, March 2

Diabolical Cough

Ok so I am now about two weeks past 30 and I am still loving it...although I was not aware that turning 30 came with a sinus infection and a diabolical cough that seriously delights in keeping my ALL. NIGHT. LONG! GRR! ARG! Seriously...does anyone have ANY remedies? I am going to see the doctor tomorrow...probably so she can just tell me I have a cold or something. Stupid doctors! But I am desperate to sleep here! Sleep makes you stronger and more able to fight infections...but I CAN'T sleep because I have a cough! PLEASE I AM BEGGING FOR ANY ADVICE!